The Hobie 16 Nationals in Plettenburg Bay, sponsored by Robberg Fine Foods, got underway despite a nervous wobble after Monday night’s announcement by the President that beaches in the Garden Route would be closed due to covid-19 concerns. As you will see from the presentation.
After clarity was received that boats would be permitted to launch at public slipways, the regatta has gone ahead as planned and the sailors enjoying the wonderful breeze though somewhat light for South African standards.
Thursday rewarded the sailors with a clear day and a light Southerly wind, and options to seek out the breeze close to land or head further offshore. After three races, there was little to separate the front runners, but William and Lucinda Edwards made their local knowledge count and ended top of the log establishing themselves as early favourites.
On the second day, a brisk 10-12 knot South-Easterly kicked up a 3 metre swell and the long rolling break on the beach made for especially challenging launching conditions. But nothing keeps a Hobie sailor down, and the top coastal teams helped launch the fleet through the surf without incident. It was tough on the bodies and the boats out on the water, with crews struggling to stay up on trapeze in the wet, bouncy conditions. This saw quite a few capsizes and some boats limped back to shore with breakages. After another three races, Team Edwards held on to their lead.
Saturday saw a lighter Southerly 8-10 knot breeze and calmer seas which enabled the Race Committee to hold a further four races, with Cape Town team Paul and Jayden Lagesse taking over as new leaders.
An overcast start on the last day with a light 6-8 knot South Easterly saw three final races.
William and Lucinda Edwards from Choice Properties emerged as deserved overall winners to ensure the National Championship trophy fittingly resides in Plettenberg Bay for the next year. They were followed closely by Paul and Jayden Lagesse in second place, Shaun Ferry and Alison Ball in third, and Blaine and Roxanne Dodds in fourth. Penny Alison and Heather Wares, all the way from Tanzania, won the Women’s Team Trophy.
With 13 races over four days there was plenty of action on the water with the championships not decided until the last race.
1st William and Lucinda Edwards
2nd Paul and Jayden Lagesse
3rd Shaun Ferry and Alison Bail
4th Blaine and Roxanne Dodds
5th Andrew and Angela Ward